tv Meet the Press MSNBC December 31, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PST
elih, you mentioned the findings of the mueller investigation. thank you-all so much for being here. that will do it for us this year on "kasie d.c." we'll be back next week but for now, good night from washington. this sunday, the climate crisis. >> brace yourselves for dangerous heat and the drought we're in is disastrous. everyone ought to be worried about it. >> rainfall amounts are staggering. >> everything we own was destroyed. >> this is the eyewall hitting right now. the strongest winds. >> and will average temperatures in the u.s. could increase anywhere from 2 to 11 degrees. >> two fast-moving firestorms within miles of each other. >> can you see how intense the flames are right now. >> garden of eden turned into the gates of hell. >> the evidence is everywhere. >> that's my place, so you can answer yourself. >> the science is settled. >> it's wouldn't it be bet first
-- better if the administration in washington didn't deny science. >> but the politics is not. >> climate change is real. and it is urgent problem that we need to bear down on. >> it's a snowball. and that just from outside here. so it's very, very cold out. very unseasonable. so mr. president, catch this. >> this morning we'll report on the challenge of climate change. the science, the damage to our environment, the cost, and the politics. welcome to sunday and this special edition of "meet the press." >> from nbc news, the longest running show in television history. this is a special edition of "meet the press." with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning and happy new year's weekend to everyone. this morning we're going to do something that we don't often get to do -- dive in on one topic. it's obviously extraordinarily difficult to do. this as the end of this year has proven in the era of trump. but we're going to take an in-depth look regardless of that
at a literally earth-changing subject that doesn't get talked about this thoroughly on television news at least. climate change. but just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do. we're not going to debate climate change. the existence of it. the earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period. we're not going to give time to climate deniers, the science is settled, even if political opinion is not. and we're not going to confuse weather with climate. heat wave is no more evidence that climate change exists than a blizzard that it doesn't. unless a blizzard hits miami. we have a panel of experts to help us understand the science and consequences of climate change and yes, ideas to break the political paralysis over it. kate marvel is a scientist at columbia university and nasa's goddard institute for space studies and she writes the "hot planet" column for "scientific american." craig fugate led emergency response for republican governor jeb bush of florida before that
michelle flurnoy served as undersecretary of defense under president obama. she is also the co-founder and managing partner of west exec advisers. ann thompson is our chief environmental correspondent here at nbc news. and congressman carlos cabello represents the southernmost district of florida. i'll have conversations with former new york city mayor michael bloomberg and we're going to begin with a look at a crisis that's been ignored for too long. >> economic impact could be devastating. >> i don't believe it. >> you don't believe it? >> no, no, i don't believe it. >> but in a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll two-thirds of americans believe action is needed to address global climate change. 45% say the problem is serious enough for immediate action. a record high. climate-related disasters from wildfires -- >> we lost a lot.
>> to more intense storms, extreme rain events and floods, are already a serious threat. and getting worse. >> it's rising way too fast. >> i just was in such denial on anything else. i didn't grab anything. >> i saw the water mark in my basement, it was up to my nose. the drive down here was almost -- it's hard to see my place gone. >> glaciers are disappearing and arctic ice melt is producing rising sea levels and rewriting global weather patterns. all five of the warmest years on record in the arctic have come since 2014. and these rising temperatures have already cost the u.s. economy. >> there's consequences. serious consequences. we're talking about not necessarily weather. you and i have something to eat tonight. we're talking about the survival of human species over the long term. >> this year a series of climate reports, including one produced by 13 agencies in mr. trump's government, issued dire warnings
of economic and human catastrophe if there is not immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. but the federal response to the climate crisis has been political paralysis. and denial. >> we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. and i ask the chair, you know what this is? it's a snowball. and that just from outside here. so it's very, very cold out. very unseasonal. mr. president, catch this. >> while the federal government lags behind, cities and states a attempted to lead their own climate efforts. >> we have wind turbines and solar panels. >> georgetown, texas mayor dale ross voted for donald trump. last year his city became the first in texas to convert to 100% renewable energy to power its grid. >> what can the knuckleheads in d.c. do to regulate that that increases our cost? >> now a growing group of democrats in congress pushed by
grassroots progressive who is want aggressive climate policies are calling for a green new deal. >> this is going to be the great society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation. >> while some democrats are mindful of the yellow jacket protests in paris, sparked by anger at a fuel tax, a majority of americans believe that failing to address climate change will be more economically costly than new regulations to designed to prevent global warming. and democrats eyeing the white house are highlighting an issue once considered a political liability. >> climate change is real. and it is urgent problem that we need to bear down on. >> every democrat running anywhere in america needs to make it a central message. because the american people are with us. >> and joining me now is the former mayor of new york city. michael bloomberg. he's the u.n. secretary-general's special envoy for climate action and the co-author of "climate of hope." mayor bloomberg, welcome back to "meet the press."
>> thank you very much. >> let's start with i want your take-away on the yellow vest movement in paris. what, what went wrong and how france implemented what they did? what lessons are you taking away from what you've seen so far? >> what you have there is people who were asked to do something and didn't understand what they were going to get out of it. you can take jerry brown, who stood up for gasoline tax. some people didn't like it. but he got it through. because people understood that there was a problem. they didn't have the infrastructure they needed. they need to raise the revenue. and they went and took that. and taxed themselves. because there was a value to them. and i think the big problem that we have right now, is we have a climate change problem. the world is getting hotter there are bigger storms than ever before. there are droughts where we used to have floods and vice-versa. our water is getting less and we've got to do something about it.
and so we have this great challenge. and we have an opportunity. the challenge is, what we do about it. and the opportunity is the value of what we do. and that gets back to the same thing you were talking about in paris. >> i want to get to you react to something. we picked a state randomly out of the hat to find people on the street to ask questions to you. what did we choose, iowa. this is mo caison, some barbeque fanatics will know who he is. an interesting observation about various climate change proposals. >> i don't care how good the idea is i feel that in the end, someone or some organization is going to benefit financially from it. and the person that is getting it, at the end, are the person who didn't craft it didn't even design it and you know it's your truck driver. your farmers, people out on the road that are trying to make a living. >> this to me goes back to yellow vest. it is, when you talk to them, some of these yellow vest protesters are very much environmentalists, they're sitting there going, i can't
afford this. how am i -- i don't live in paris, i don't have the same access to public transportation. how do you solve that? >> we have to find ways, and on television, he says somebody else is going to make money. we want to make sure that he is one of the beneficiaries. so what i've been doing is spending my own money helping to train him and lots of other people like that, and they are the ones that i've got to make sure wind up with the skills to take advantage of the new jobs. people want recognition and respect. and too many people think, i know what's right for you. and don't bother me with the details, i'll just let me do it. that is why you had people in paris in yellow jackets. that's why you have people here who voted for donald trump. i would argue, is exactly that. that's what brexit is all about. macron is all about. people are saying i don't want to be told what to do.
i think that you can show somebody what's available and convince them to want it. and that's what nobody has done with the guy who just said somebody else is going to get rich. he can be one of the beneficiaries. and incidentally, if companies don't make money, they're not going to create jobs. you want them to be able to make money but we have to match the skill sets with the needs. >> what would be the impact if we rejoined paris today, the paris agreement? >> not a lot. because we are halfway there, towards meeting our goals already. somebody said, oh, you know, you're never going to get this it's ridiculous to think that america is going to meet its goals. we're halfway there already and in the seven years left to go. the economics of coal mean nobody's going to stop the reduction in the amount of coal. we have gone and done a whole bunch of things that we had promised to do under that agreement. that trump said we're not going to do. he walked away. so we decided -- we in the private sector -- >> he hasn't fully walked away, has he? we did have representatives in poland.
>> he can't pull out until 2020, that's the deal. but for example, he stopped, america owed some money to help pay for the management of these programs. he walked away from it. in the end he did some of it or the federal government did some. and i think my foundation paid, gave him $5 million to pay what our obligation is. so he didn't walk away from it, because he didn't have a lot to do with it. all of the things that have been done or most of them, have been done by the private sector. individuals and companies. >> is that the real answer? should we give up on government? >> no. government -- it would be a lot more helpful if we had a climate champion rather than a climate denier in the white house. i've always thought trump has a right to his opinions but doesn't have a right to his own facts. and the truth of the matter is that this country and this world is in trouble. the ice caps are melting and the storms are getting greater. in south carolina, about a month ago they had three feet of rain. do you know three feet how high that is? >> why do you think people want to deny climate change?
>> well number one people don't. or -- >> do you think that's a phony argument when you say they deny? >> no, some people do. but we did a lot of polling, i supported 24 congressional candidates, 21 won and we did lots of polling as we were creating ads for them. one of the things we polled was climate change. 75% said they believed in climate change. if you go to you mentioned iowa. iowa now generate one-third of its entire energy from wind. they in a few years will be 100%. there's a town, georgetown, texas with republican mayor, 100% renewables there are people that are doing things, places doing things and people believe. you look out your window and you see forest fires and maybe it's going hit your house, you become a believer pretty quickly. >> let's talk about how a presidential campaign and a sort of presidential focus, there's some people who say climate change is a policy paper you put out. and there's others that say, every proposal that you do now
in washington has to be through the lens of dealing with climate change. whether you know, whether it's your economic plan. where are you on that? >> i think that any candidate for federal office, better darn well have a plan to deal with the problem that the trump science advisers say could basically end this world. even his -- >> is that fair -- if you run for president, and if you happen to do it, that all your policy proposals will be through the lens of, is it -- >> the presidency is not an entry-level job, okay? we have some real problems. if you don't come in with some real concrete answers i think the public is tired of listening to the same platitudes that they get. we're in favor of god, mother and apple pie. and trust me, i'll have a plan when i get there. no. you have to have a plan. and i can tell you one thing, i don't know whether i'm going to run or not. but i will be out there demanding that anybody who is running has a plan. i want to hear the plan and i want people to look at it and say whether it's doable.
>> what would be the factor if you are going to run and what would be the factor if you didn't? >> timeline is the beginning of the year. end of january, into february, maybe. there's no rush to do it. everybody wants to know what you're going to do. and the bottom line is, i'm not sure yet. i care about a bunch of issues. i care for my kids, i care for this country that's been so good to me. and i want to see how i can help the best. right now my foundation and my company, i give 100% of the company's profits or my share of them to the foundation we support an awful lot of things that we're doing. that let us -- explain to people how to do things. and give them options. not telling them what to do, but i think i can make the world a better place in the private sector. can i make it a better place in the public sector? maybe. i love 12 years in city hall. i think it's fair to say most people liked what we did. in city hall. do i think i could be a good president? yes.
i'm not the only one that could be a good president. i disagree with our current president on so many things that i don't even know where to start there. >> i assume a lot of this has to do, are you trying to figure out if the democratic party is going to accept you? >> well you certainly would have, i would certainly run as a democrat. i'm much closer to their philosophy. although i don't agree with any one party on everything. you would have to run as a democrat. you would have to get a democratic nomination. and i think if you go out and you explain to them what you do -- keep in mind, i got elected in new york city, an overwhelming democratic city and overwhelming minority city. and i got elected three times. so i must know something about this. >> michael bloomberg, always a pleasure to talk with you, thank you for coming on and sharing your views. >> thanks. >> when we come back it's our panel of experts, they join us on the environmental and economic risks and consequences of climate change.
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all right slightly above the water. let's jump right not panel. as i said at the beginning of the show, no offense to everybody else, we're going start with the scientist. dr. marvel, just i think the -- the question here is how do you -- how do you explain the urgency to americans, right? that's been i think the challenge, and i think it came through during the michael bloomberg interview. explain the urgency of what we're facing. >> oh, my gosh. i wish i knew and had a good answer for this because as scientists, what we want to do, what we're always tempted to do is show more data and more graphs, like there's going to be some magic equation that's going to convince everybody, and there isn't. you know, i don't think that a lot of the reluctance to accept climate change, i don't really think that's about the science. i think that's about values. i think that's about the sort of deep story of how people see
themselves. so i think it's really important for scientists to go out in communities and engage with what's important to people in communities. >> it feels overwhelming. >> it does feel overwhelming. >> the science feels overwhelming, i'll be honest. it just does. is there a way of figuring out how to prioritize? >> i mean, that's the thing. it is overwhelming, because we are talking about something that affects the planet that we live on. we're talking about global warming, but we're also talking about changes to rainfall patterns, changes to extreme events like heat waves and floods and droughts and hurricanes, so it should feel overwhelming because it is overwhelming i think. >> and you've traveled the globe for us to try to show us what's happening, not just say what's happening, show us, and we're doing our best to show pictures, and that's a challenge. >> and that's a important because i always liken climate change to cancer. such huge issues and hard to get your head wrapped around it. take a look at glacier national
park in the montana. in 1850 when we started burning coal and sending greenhouse gases in the air, there were 150 glaciers in that national park. today, there are 26, and they are in danger of losing those 26. they are really threatened. if you look at things that we just show are happening around us, growing zones are moving north. fish are migrating north to get to colder waters. we're seeing changes here. that's what convinces people that it's happening, and i think the reason why we're seeing more people believe in it today is because we're now starting to live climate change in realtime in the united states. >> well, speaking of that realtime, i think it's the financial impact that maybe will start parking things. the national climate assessment said the following. with continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the centuries, more than the current gross domestic product of many states
and this year alone disaster -- the cost of three disasters, hurricane michael, $25 billion, insurance claims for the california fires were up to $9 bill beyond and 50 billion for hurricane florence. craig fugate, can you convince people with dollars and cents? >> i don't know if you're going to convince them with dollars and cents but you can with the sheer frequency of events that are occurring. every time they say this is a record-setting event, almost all of our practices of how we prepare for disasters is looking at the past to prepare for the future. it's not working. and look at all the money we're spending. the thing i like remind people. when fema is spending money, that's for uninsured losses. we've seen one of the largest transfers from private insurance to federal programs like fema, hud, the national flood insurance program. why organizations like the pew charitable trust is looking at the policy of why are we growing disaster risk in the face of climate change with policies that incentivize growth.
we're still providing flood insurance for people who build in a flood zone. >> we shouldn't be doing that. >> we just reauthorized it and punted again. flood insurance, one simple answer, why don't we stop writing insurance for people. let the private sector insure it. if they don't, why is the public insuring it? >> it's interesting, because there's a very strong consensus in the national security community that climate change is real. this is sort of a pragmatic clear-eyed view, and for the military they see this as leading to a change in their mission, more humanitarian assistance, disaster relief missions abroad and at home. they see the melting of the ice cap in the arctic. that's going to open an area of strategic competition with both russia and china. >> this -- just -- i don't want to gloss over that, so here we are worried about what the melting ice caps are going to do to our life. meanwhile, it's going to become a military fight. >> absolutely.
there is going to be new channels of commerce. china and russia have already staked claims and made it very clear they intend to contest space, but it's also an infrastructure problem for the military. more than half of the u.s. military bases and bases overseas are estimated to be severely impacted by climate change, either severe weather and/or flooding. that's our ability to project power overseas. that's our ability to operate our u.s. military. 50% of the facilities are going to be affected. >> and we would have to think about the cost of defense as it is today. >> look at the air force base that got hit by, you know, michael. f-22s in hangars that were destroyed, and think how few of those we have. >> as you can see here, trying to make a point here. can the economy do it? can national security do it? maybe the state of florida can do it, the most important state in presidential politics, carlos curbelo. if floridians change their mind on that, want to put in a few stats from the national climate assessment. there's a 1 in 20 chance that
nearly half a billion dollars in property value in the state of florida will be under sea level before the end of this centuries, and then i've got to play for you this, our hometown, not just your hometown, mine, too, miami, what a university of miami geologist had to say about this. take a listen. >> i think somewhere later in the centuries, miami, as we know it, is going to be unlivable, so in reality in south florida, we're just going to be leaving. we don't have the problem. you up in orlando, you better set aside your groundwater resources, and you better plan for us. you really better plan, because we are coming. >> does florida change the country's mindset on this? >> it can, because it's where the effects of climate change are most evident, so we get tidal flooding in south florida in the florida keys. >> explain what that is. >> king tide comes, meaning lunar cycle, the tide is the strongest and our roads literally flood. >> just once a month. >> that's right. >> no rain, no anything. >> i just want to remind people what this is. >> big threat to our drinking
supply, the everglades houses all of the water for south florida. as the salt water comes in it threatens the drinking water. ocean acidification and as we get higher carbon dioxide in our ocean it kills our reefs which are essential to ocean 'ecosystems. the point anne made is so important. we need to start covering the debate and start covering the story so that people see that this is real and so that politicians take a more pragmatic approach and find solutions that are actually achievable. >> and if you think those high tides bother you once a month, wait until they happen every day, and that's what the reports say. if we don't do something about cutting our greenhouse gas emissions and that's going to happen and it's not just going to happen in miami. it will happen in virginia and newport news and where the naval bases are, and they are already dealing with that high tide flooding, and it's going to affect places like new york and boston and cape cod, and we're -- new orleans, we're going to have big problems.
>> i don't know what to say. i live in new york, and the subway is projected to flood every five years by the middle of the century, and every year by the end of the century. i don't want the subway to flood. >> you think it's miserable now, right? >> this goes back to 2012. super storm sandy makes landfall. we're flying up to go see governor christie and president obama turns to me and said craig, the debate about climate change is over. we have to start talking about adaptation and this is what's really hard. we've built so many infrastructure with life spans in financial over the span. we always thought this was something that's 50 years away. it's now, and we haven't built for and the change for the build in it while we're still denying, it we're losing. >> what's the -- i mean, the displacement of americans, how many millions of americans right now live basically in an-year that could be unlivable in 50 years? we're talking millions, right? >> many. it's not just florida. that's not just coastal communities. warm air holds more water vapor
so that means even if you live in the midwest, you're going to see increased downpours. rain is real going to dump on you. >> and for agriculture the consequences are significant. >> and if you look globally, we're a pretty strong economy. we're a very powerful nation. think of all the countries that are going to experience massive population movements and have no wherewithal to deal with that pressure and the instability and conflict. >> do you see how overwhelming this feels. i guess, dr. marvel, let me ask, what's the one thing that we can do right now? i think -- give me one thing. >> so the thing that i actually find kind of perversely comforting is the fact that we know exactly what's causing this. can you imagine if that were a natural cycle that we didn't have any control over, but we know exactly what's causing this. it's us. it's greenhouse gas emissions that we are putting in the atmosphere, and as a scientist i can tell you let's not do the that anymore. >> it's really just about those guys. >> those guys. >> it's about no offense. >> yeah, and i'm not a
scientist, that's the phrase that's been used in past by politicians but i do know this. there's two halves to this. mitigation we means we reduce carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation where i think we're starting to make some progress in the congress, investments in coastal infrastructure that will protect properties and will protect people from these effects. >> all right. well, we've done a lot on the science and a lot on the impact. later i want to get into sort of some practical ideas, including the carbon tax. is that the right way to go, but let me pause here. when we come back, few states have been hit harder by climate change than our biggest state, california. governor jerry brown joins us next. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were too loose. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with a range of sizes, depend fit-flex is made for me. with a range of sizes for all body types,
homes. the man who has led the state of california for a combined 16 years as governor is outgoing governor jerry brown. he's been a champion of environmental causes and has been outspoken on this issue since his first term in the 1970s and this morning governor brown is at the state's office of emergency services outside of sacramento where the state's emergency management personnel oversees personal disaster preparedness and recovery which means it's 24-hour operation sadly all the time. governor brown, welcome back to "meet the press." >> great to be here. >> the first time i was here -- i was going to said first time i was on the show i think was 1975. so we've got a long history. >> were do have a long history. the word wildfire is not in print anymore without the word california in front of it it feels like these days. you've seen your and why it's bigger than just a wildfire issue this time.
>> well, it's bigger because t fire season instead of being a few months around the summer and a little bit in the fall is year long, and we saw that with the fires both in the north and the southern part of the state at the same time. that hasn't happened before. usually one would burn and then it would stop and then the southern part of the state would burn with the santa ana winds, so it -- it's new, and it leads not just to fires. it leads to mud slides and then, of course, you're going to see with the heavy storms and rains as the snows melt faster or the rains don't come at all, we're going to find a lot of inundation of a good part of the state, so we see it. we see it in the fear in people's eyes as they fled, many elderly who died. this is real. it's dangerous, and -- and we've got to wake up the country, wake up the world, and we've got to
start with the man in the white house who wants to get off the business that it just requires raking leaves in the bottom of the forest there. really a crazy idea. >> he came out -- he came out and -- and toured, frankly it was after that weird comment that he made about raking, and you seemed to -- did you feel like you made any progress in convincing him this is -- this is not something that's distinctive or unique to now, that this is a larger issue with the climate? >> no, i don't think i did. i do appreciate that he came, that the president has made funding available under the emergency acts of congress, so that's all good, but i would say he is very convinced of his position, and his position is that there's nothing abnormal about the fires in california or the rising sea level or all the other incidents of climate change. >> you both have been a mayor and a governor. you've had to see people become
temporary refugees from their home. at what point do you feel as if politicians in positions like the governorship of california are going to have to start proposing restrictions on where people live and basically saying, you know what, we just can't build here because we can't afford to basically maintain people living this close to the water or living this close to wildfire damage or living this close to a place that's susceptible to mud slides? >> well, look, now, we've got to the keep -- we have to make those proposals now, but we already have restrictions. people want to go build housing in flood plains. california prevents that, but the zone of danger from fire and flood is far bigger, much bigger, so the politics of that will unfold slowly, but the facts are on the ground and the politicians, however painful it would be politically, will follow, of course now, to
restrict building in areas that are just too dangerous. >> i've got to the ask you. i'm curious about the yellow vest movement and what you think why that has been such a struggle for macron there and what lessons we should take away here. joanna hier, a uc davis post graduate student. she writes this. if everyone in the state, talking about california, had equal access to public transportation, the gas tax would be a fair incentive to motivate people to ditch cars but it punishes people for not having transit options to meet their needs. it seems to me the yellow vest movement in france, that's the disconnect there. you won your gas tax fight but rural californians didn't like it. >> no, they don't. they don't like a lot of things. they votes against housing bonds.
there's the same divide in california as in america. the red is different than the blue, and it's associated definitely with rural areas. but i would say in terms of what happened in france, i believe the president cut back on taxes for the very wealthy at the same time he imposed what is essentially a sales tax on working and poor people, so that was very different than our own gas tax. when we tax the wealthy, very substantially and then we went to the state and said stick and reaffirm this gas tax and they did by 13 points. it's incredible, so people are ready to build if they believe that the money will be spent right and they understand it's being -- it's helping their community, so, yes, we need more rapid transit. we need trains and we need more efficient cars. we need all of that, and that's why this climate change is not just adapting, it's inventing new technology. it's -- instead of complaining
about the chinese putting all their money into batteries and artificial intelligence and new kinds of cars, we have to put more money in america, so instead of worrying about tariffs, i would like to see the president and the congress invest tens of billions in renewable energy, in more efficient batteries to get us off fossil fuel as quickly as we can. i would point to the fact that it took roosevelt many, many years to get america to willing to go into world war ii and fight the nazis. well, we have an enemy, though different, but perhaps very much devastating in a similar way, and we've got to fight climate change and the president has got to lead on that. >> i want to get to you respond to something that was written in the "l.a. times" earlier this month by jacques leslie, and it goes this way. recent years the state has suffered an array of environmental woes, to varying degrees climate-related. the catastrophic fires, drought, heat waves to name just a few.
jerry brown's climate efforts have been profoundly important. it's a measure of the breadth of the crisis but they haven't been nearly enough. it's very complimentary but not nearly enough. is that how you feel as you leave the governorship, you've done everything you can but it still wasn't number or was there something else you could have done? >> not enough and not even close and we're doing more than anybody else, and not close in america or the rest world. look, we've got to get those zero emission cars on the road. we have to figure out new ways of making cement. we've got to clean up our ships, which are creating more pollution than california and texas put together. the technology, the investment, the lifestyle changes, the land use changes. this is a revolutionary threat, and we've got to get off this idea. it's the economy, stupid. no, it's the environment. it's the ecology that we have to get on the side of, and we only do that with wisdom, with investment and widespread
collaboration and working together. so that's a good criticism. some of his ideas i thought were not as important as the ones we're trying to push. >> but i knew it would bring out that final answer, and i think it was as good of a summary as what needs to be done as anybody could have put together. governor jerry brown, as you've pointed out, been coming on "meet the press" since 1975. i hope this is not your last appearance sir. i look forward to it again. >> okay. i hope not either. >> all right. up next, when it comes to climate change, everyone agrees it's happening. well, almost everyone. that's next. i wanted more from my copd medicine... ...that's why i've got the power of 1-2-3 medicines with trelegy. the only fda-approved 3-in-1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy. the power of 1-2-3 ♪ trelegy 1-2-3 trelegy with trelegy and the power of 1-2-3, i'm breathing better.
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welcome back. data download time. after years of contentious debate on climate change, new polling this year seems to suggest americans are finally starting to form a consensus on this issue. more people are willing to accept that it's happening and that humans are responsible, but there still is a serious political divide. according to a study from yale and george mason university, 70% of americans say global warming is happening, and 57% believe it's mostly caused by human activity. in fact, the 66% of people in our nbc/"wall street journal" poll who believe climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, that's 15-point increase since 1999. down to just 30% who say we need more research or we shouldn't be concerned, a 13-point drop in
that same time period. now, look, this is significant, because those feelings about climate change are remarkably uniform, no matter your skin tone or where you live. over 60% of whites, african-americans and hispanics all believe think we need to do something about climate change and 50% of those who live in cities, suburbs and rural america agree, but if the public has reached a consensus, why hasn't washington? well, we see the biggest disagreement on climate change when we look through the prism of political parties. 71% of democrats say climate change is a serious problem and that we need to take immediate action. a 42-point increase since 1997. 47% of independents also agree, a 22-point jump, but republican opinion, stagnant on the issue. only 15% believe climate change is an urgent problem. the exact same number when we first asked this question in 1999. look, these numbers in particular serve as a remind that no matter how much the public at large may agree on
something, we live in a two-party political system and the go -- two parties simply do not see eye to eye on whether to even address the issue, let alone how to address it. as long as that's the case, it's hard to see how the public's consensus leads to political action in washington. when we come back, the panel is back with that question, how to deal with the tricky politics of climate change. tricky politics f climate change i'm 53, but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take osteo bi-flex to keep me moving the way i was made to. it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long-term. osteo bi-flex; find our coupon in sunday's paper. (danny) (client's voice) ...that you're not using smarter tools to manage your business. you work too hard to work this hard! collecting receipts? is it the 80s? does anybody have a mixtape i can borrow? you should be chasing people's pets... ...not chasing payments! quickbooks gives you a sweet set of business tools... ...that do all the hard work for you.
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it is absolutely imperative that we get our act together on this issue. we're fighting for the future of the planet. >> this idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don't believe it's settled then you're somehow another neanderthal, that is so inappropriate. >> back now with end game and trying to break the political paralysis. carlos curbelo, you were the -- you wanted to introduce a carbon tax. you were at least trying to start the debate about a carbon tax, but as we're watching what's unfolding in france and the protests and the pushback there, is a carbon tax doable? is this the way to do it? is a vice tax the most way to go? >> the most efficient and most logical and probably the most politically viable solution. i think mayor bloomberg and governor brown tried to make this point the key is that the people who are being taxed, in this case it would be all the american people, trust that the revenues are going to be put to good use, and that's why in the bill i filed we put almost all of of it to infrastructure because we know that's popular in this
country and that most americans believe that we have to invest in our infrastructure. we also set aside some funds to mitigate higher utility rates for lower income americans. that is the key, and we know this is true because in miami recently they just passed a $200 million bond referendum, a property tax increase to fund coastal infrastructure because the citizens understood that the funds would be put to good use, in other words to protect them. >> it does seem as if the regressive nature perhaps, anne, how do you -- you know, again, the person that doesn't live near an easy-to-access public transportation point and the cost of fossil fuels. >> right, but i think if you can make them see -- the question is can you make people see the value in that tax, that it's actually -- a tax is the quickest way to change behavior, and if it will help people, if it will ensure that you have cleaner air, that you have less extreme weather events, that you
have access to cleaner water, if people see a value in it, they might buy into it. >> our most trusted institutions are the military these days, and it does seem as if since in the military there's been more experience with seeing it in realtime. >> well, the military tends to be very clear-eyed and pragmatic about threats and it's a planning culture and like to look way off into the future. what's interesting while the trump administration has been trying to take reference to the word climate change out of the national security strategy, out of the defense strategy, out of dod reports and to cut funding where it can, meanwhile the congress in the last two national defense authorization acts have played -- has played a really, really important rule, sort of putting in reporting requirements. every service has to identity the ten most vulnerable bases and mitigation efforts. you have to come up with an arctic strategy for when the ice melts. you have to as a combatant commander factor climate change into your operational planning.
this gives the department top cover. i actually think there's a role for the military as that respected institution to sort of be truth speakers on this and to say that this is real. we're planning for it, and we're going to have to spend money for on it to be able to continue to protect the country so, you know, let's get over it and get on with it. >> this is an interesting dynamic in the congress as the president has acted irresponsibly on climate and made some, you know, reckless comments. more and more republicans in the house have moved to embrace this issue and to accept the science. when i got to congress in 2015 there were even two or three republicans willing to utter the word climate change. today there's over 40 on the record acknowledging that this is a real issue that requires government action and they went on t record by joining the bipartisan climate solutions cause. >> craig fugate, you were talking about you were equating it to the tobacco issues, and i'm curious what you make about
the lawsuit strategy that we're seeing now, actually, the crab fishermen, four lawsuits we're outlining here, lawsuits against oil companies, the crab fishermen versus 30 fossil fuel companies and the state of new york versus exxon and the state of rhode island versus chevron and the city of baltimore versus bp, the idea of holding them accountable. is that a smart strategy? >> well, we saw what happened to tobacco. the individual suits didn't make any difference but when all the states attorneys general got together and sued big tobacco, this he settled. investors want to protect their investments and they see these exposures getting worse and that's the other part of the carbon tax. we have to price risk what it costs. think about over $100 billion last year was put into disasters that could have been saved if we had been doing stuff ahead of time, so i think part of this is how do we price our risk so we're not building it the same way we've always done and investors will probably drive this faster than government regulations because they are seeing the short-sighted ness of investments that have multi-decades to pay back that are going to be disrupted in years. >> yeah, you're already seeing
that in the energy sector. i mean, we had 20 coal plants that had been retired this year. coal is at its lowest point since 1979 when jimmy carter put solar panels on the white house the first time, and when you look at what utility companies are doing, dte in michigan, southeastern michigan, this year broke ground on a new natural gas plant, a billion dollar investment. they are retiring five coal plants, they are investing in renewables. economically coal doesn't make sense anymore. natural gas renewables do. >> dr. marvel, i'm curious, the impact of the trump administration has rolled back a few of the actions that the obama administration put in that was targeted at some climate issues. they did a freeze on the gas mileage standard that sort of reversed obama regulations. the epa rolled back some methane rules and trump's epa also rolled back other rules having to do with coal. has that -- how much has that set us back? is it a decade back? how much time does it take to sort of get this -- just get
back on the path that we were three years ago? >> i mean, it's not a good idea, but i think we have seen a lot of action in the private sector and at the state level and more importantly at the local level, so i think, you know, that's not a yes-or-no question or a black or white question. you know, we have -- president trump has signaled his intent to withdraw from the paris agreement, but we've seen it movement called we are still in. people are still adhering to the paris goals, so i think -- i'm not going to say it's good news because it's not, but i think it's not necessarily as catastrophic as it might otherwise be. >> what -- what -- i guess -- are there -- is there any individual actions anymore or is this just so large that -- i mean, is this one of these -- i remember going back to jimmy cart thor, hey, it was a collective action, if everyone can do their little part. it feels like with climate change it doesn't. it feels like it's all stuck. >> we really do need national policy that will become international policy.
that's why in a lot of carbon pricing -- >> when we make changes as a country we galvanize. is there a way to galvanize, craig fugate? is there a way to galvanize? >> the disasters are starting this process. this is something no longer in the future. one of the regulations they rolled back was the federal floodplain management standards. quit building one foot, let's build two feet above flood level. we missed all the building to build a future risk. >> what would you do if you could do this? how would you shake us by the lapels? >> i get frustrated because i hear this administration say two things. first of all, when they talk about pulling out of paris, they talk about -- they say, look, we've reduced greenhouse gas emissions. we've reduced greenhouse gas emissions because people have turned away from coal and yet that's exactly what this administration is promoting so it just makes no sense. >> all right. what a tremendous hour. thank you guys for your time and thoughts on this. much appreciated. that's all we have for today. thank you for watching this sunday morning.
on behalf of all of us on "meet the press," we want to wish you a very happy and healthy and safe new year and we will be back next year or i guess i should say next year, because if it's sunday it's "meet the press." (burke) parking splat. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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